Tim Burton has directed close to 15 feature films in his time, but he has said that nothing matches Pfeiffer's performance as Catwoman in 'Batman Returns'.
“I don’t really go back and look at the movies but her performance in that was one of my favorite performances of anything by anyone in any movie that I’ve worked on,” Burton said recently to LA Times Hero Complex. “It was just the best. Really, I’ll never forget her in that.”
He said he really saw 'something special' happening when he saw her shoot that performance. Of course, Pfeiffer's performance as the legendary Catwoman in Burton's 'Batman Returns' was almost considered definitive until we saw how fantastic Anne Hathaway was in the same role in this summer's 'Dark Knight Rises'.
Burton also says in the interview that Pfieffer truly inhabited her role, and despite the presence of stuntwomen, she did as much as she absolutely could in front of the camera.
“I just have all these memories of her – letting a live bird fly out of her mouth and learning to use the whip and jumping around rooftop sets in high heels,” Burton said. “The work and just the performance were very, very impressive.”
The film itself was considered mediocre, with many critics singling out Pfeiffer's performance as the best part of the movie. They considered the visuals to be far above the actual substance of the story, and were let down, especially considering how amazing Burton's 'Batman' debut was.